FIT Class #4, Hems Part 1

We spent last Thursday whipping through a bunch of hem finishes.  We are learning a total of 6 types:

  • Baby
  • Flat Fell or Double Fold
  • Hong Kong
  • 2″ with hem tape using catch stitch
  • 2″ with hem tape using slip stitch
  • curved hem

We got through the first two and parts of the next 3.  We also learned the two hand hem stitches we’ll use.  There was so much material I had to bring it home and do it here which, to be fair, makes life a LOT easier.  Using a home machine – while the stitches don’t look as nice – has so many features that make my life easier.  For one thing, I can move at a snail’s pace.  i have not one but TWO task lamps on my sewing table so I can really see what I’m doing.  My machine has automatic threading, automatic needle down positioning when you stop sewing, and you can move the needle left and right which makes lining up an edgestitch a breeze.  Feels like cheating but my work looks much better.  Let’s review.

Baby Hem.  Considering my blindness for fine stuff, I’m shocked this came out so well on the Juki.  It’s a teeny tiny hem used on the edge of chiffon or other thin fabrics.

Front is on left and back is on right.  There’s actually two layers of stitching but you only see it on the back.  It’s about an 1/8″ from edge – ‘as close as you can get it.’   Cool, right?

IMG_0008 IMG_0009The next one we did was the Flat Fell or Double Fold.  It involves a lot of edge stitching and I just really struggled with this on the Juki.  The sample on the left is one of the four I did in class and the right one I did quickly at home.  As you can see on the left (done in class) the stitch quality is nicer but the home version is much much straighter and consistently near the edge.

IMG_0012 IMG_0011Then we took a break and learned how to do the two hand stitches we’ll be using for hemming – slip stitch and catch stitch.  On my sampler, top is slip stitch and bottom is catch stitch.  They are actually the same stitch ultimately but one is sewn left to right, the other right to left.  The one left to right (bottom) is used for stretchy fabrics  – the little cross builds in some stretch potential apparently. IMG_0002Close ups of each:

IMG_0003 IMG_0004

And this is what it looks from the front of the garment. Just a pin prick.


Prep was then done for the next three hems.  Hong Kong and then learning how to attach the super slippery hem tape (all about the basting).  I’m proud that the HK prep was done in class.  I did a bang up stitch in the ditch on the Juki.  Go me.  That said, I redid the hem tape samples at home, edge stitching using my adjustable needle position.  So. Much. Easier.


So that’s where we are.  This Tuesday, we complete these latter 3, learn a curved seam, and trace the pattern to get started on our ‘sample’ straight skirt.  It’s a whirl!


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